The city of Tombstone (Ariz.) is struggling to repair water lines damaged in the 2011 Monument and Horseshoe 2 wildfires in Cochise County. City residents aren't just struggling with a harsh physical environment. They're also having to fight the federal government.
Investigations revealed the wildfire in Monument was caused by humans. A spokesperson for the Coronado National Memorial said:
“The general location of the suspected start of the fire is commonly used by narcotics smugglers, human traffickers, and undocumented aliens…A network of smuggling trails exists on the south side of the fence in Mexico that lead in the direction to where the fire started...”
The federal government’s inability to control taxpayer funded lands is well documented. Media rarely focus on environmental damage caused by illegal aliens connected to smuggling, drug cartels and human trafficking.
The federal government is obstructing the repairs because of a 1964 law prohibiting heavy equipment on federal lands. That law was enacted under the administration of Lyndon B. Johnson, a Democrat whose legacy created numerous fiscal and other problems we deal with today.
Townspeople have done some repairs by primitive means.
The Goldwater Institute is helping Tombstone fight for its existence. The Institute said:
“Tombstone City Manager George Barnes said he fears those temporary repairs may be washed away in the coming months…We’re trying to fix things before monsoons take away what little work we did. We could be back to square one a month from now…”
No media have mentioned whether heavy equipment is used by the Forest Service to fight fires or conduct controlled burns.
The Goldwater Institute noted:
“The water line, originating in the Huachuca Mountains, supplied 50 to 80 percent of the town’s water until it was damaged last year. It is currently supplying only a limited amount of water from three springs, where emergency repairs have been made with PVC pipes and sandbags.”
Forest Service employees recently saw a Mexican spotted owl in the area. That owl is a threatened, not an endangered, species.
Will the government use a sighting of that species to interfere with Tombstone’s efforts to protect the rights of human beings?
Tombstone has relied on the pipeline since 1881.
Ironically, a recent decision in an unrelated federal case gave more rights to illegal aliens than to U.S. citizens and immigrants. That incident happened in Washington State when a Forest Service employee caught two people tampering with plants. The US Report covered that incident in a previous column*.
As for Tombstone, they’re getting some help from both the Goldwater Institute and Republican Congressman Jeff Flake (Ariz.) who has introduced a bill, HR 5971, the Emergency Water Supply Restoration Act. CNN said Flake’s Act would enable the use of construction equipment if a state declared a water emergency. CNN reported:
“Flake said: ‘The unforeseen consequences of federal laws and regulations threaten to do something outlaws, economic busts and the Arizona desert couldn't: Kill the town too tough to die.’"
Under the administration of President Barack Obama, the federal government is telling a town it can’t effectively gain access to the water it needs to survive.
Tombstone residents might consider plunking a piece of heavy equipment near that water line but not actually using the equipment. Videos of the fed response would force the federal government’s hand and show Americans exactly what mindless bureaucratic thuggery looks like.
Putting an owl above the rights of the residents of a town that is part and parcel of American history suggests the need for reform of federal laws in the interest of common sense.
Can Tombstone sue the Dept. of Homeland Security for permitting foreign nationals to run amok on federal lands while use of those lands is obstructed for the U.S. citizens who pay for upkeep?
Monument fire caused by Humans (The Herald-Sierra Vista)
Supreme Court declines Tombstone’s emergency water repair request (The Goldwater Institute)
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/June 9, 2012)